Excerpted from "Sex in the Romance: A Review of Romantic Encounters of the Close Kind".

(copyright John L. Ferri 1994, jlferri@epix.net)

A Sex Scoring System

The scoring system requires that the intimate acts actually be described by the author of the romance novel. Scoring is based on descriptions written in the style typical of that used in the popular romance novels currently published by Avon, Bantam, Harlequin, and the other major romance novel publishers. Points awarded range from a 0 for no description, to a 4 for a long, detailed, vivid, sensual, breath-taking description. No description requires a zero score. Even if it may have been almost impossible, or at least very difficult or uncomfortable, for subsequent acts to occur without the required preliminaries, no description requires a zero score. Keep in mind that the scores awarded are subjective and based on the interpretation of the scorer.

The Safe Sex Category scores 0 for unsafe sex, or 1 for safe sex. Monogamous relationships, if recognized, always score a 1. However, the novels are fiction and are intended to vicariously transport the reader to places and situations that they would not normally encounter. Therefore as long as the reader is aware of the consequences of unsafe sex, what transpires in the novel is inconsequential. The scores are simply for recording the facts as described by the author of the novel and interpreted by the scorer (me).

(KS) Kissing Score.

Involves the lips of one or both participants in contact with the other participant. Tongue involvement, even though minor, scores at least 2. Lip involvement in BR, BJ, or MD categories are scored in those categories and not here.

(BR) Breast Fondling Score.

Involves the breast or breasts of either participant in contact with the other participant. Hand contact scores 1, lip or tongue use or both score at least a 2. Higher scores are awarded for longer involvement, more breasts, etc.

(DH) Clothed Contact Score.

Sometimes, the participants remain partially or fully clothed while passionately involved. Scores are based on creativity and resourcefulness overcoming and enjoying the handicap.

(SS) Safe Sex Score.

0 for no, 1 for yes. Monogamous relationships, if recognized, always score a 1.

(PN) Male Member Fondling Score.

Requires the female's hand or hands and the male's penis. Stroking scores at least a 2. As usual, higher scores are awarded for duration, enthusiasm, creativity, follow-through, and proper technique. Lip or tongue use is scored in the BJ category and not here.

(VG) Female Sex Organ Fondling Score.

Requires the male's hand or hands and the female's vulva and nearby areas. Digital exploration scores at least a 2, however other maneuvers may score 2 or more without requiring insertion. Use of multiple digits may score more points. Any lip or tongue use is scored in the MD category and not here.

(BJ) Oral Sex, Male Recipient Score.

Requires the female's mouth and the male's penis. Tongue and hand involvement, particularly stroking, add to the score in this category. Extra points are awarded for enthusiasm and technique as well as neatness and follow-through.

(MD) Oral Sex, Female Recipient Score.

Requires the male's mouth or tongue or both, and the female's vulva and nearby areas. Use of the tongue scores at least a 2. As in the BJ category, hand and finger involvement add to the score here.

(MT) Intercourse, Missionary Position Score.

The female is lying on her back with her partner lying face down on her. Points are awarded for duration, enthusiasm, creativity, and technique.

(FT) Intercourse, Female on Top Score.

The male may be lying on his back, or in a full or partial sitting position. She is either face down on him, or sitting on and facing her partner. The primary requirement is that they are face to face with the male NOT on top.

(RE) Intercourse, Rear Vaginal Entry Score.

Entry is from the rear. The female may be lying face down, face up with the male under her, standing, sitting in her partners lap, or any of a multitude of possible variations. The only requirement is entry from the rear.

(OT) Other Score.

Used to score anything not covered above, including creative foreplay, unusual position, or extraordinary activities. This category can also be used to give additional points for the authors creative and literary skills.

Top 25 Book Score

The top 25 books of those reviewed are listed in decreasing order of total points scored for all the love scenes in the novel. A high total score could indicate a plethora of love scenes or fewer with high scores. Either way, a high total score indicates a lot of sex.

59 His Royal Pleasure; Banks, Leanne

46 Cloud Man; Faith, Barbara

44 Twilight Phantasies; Shayne, Maggie

38 Just Another Pretty Face; Schuler, Candace

32 Bride Wanted; Macomber, Debbie

29 Chance at a Lifetime; Winston, Anne Marie

28 Pirate and the Lady, The; St. George, Margaret

27 Then Comes Marriage; Pega, Bonnie

25 Splendor; Hart, Catherine

23 Love Me With Fury; Taylor, Janelle

23 Paradox; Erickson, Lynn

22 Just Like Romeo and Juliet; Arnold, Judith

19 Fanta C; Brown, Sandra

19 Reckless Angel; Shayne, Maggie

19 Manhunting; Crusie, Jennifer

18 Trouble in Paradise; Connell, Susan

18 Whisper of Midnight; Simpson, Patricia

18 Wilde At Heart; Kaiser, Janice

17 Storm Cloud Marriage; Leigh, Roberta

17 You Go To My Head; Hutchinson, Bobby

16 Caution: Charm at Work; Morgan, Raye

16 Time For Love; A Browning, Amanda

16 Counterfeit Bride; Rimmer, Christine

15 Wild Honey; Major, Ann

15 Scandalous Seduction; Lee, Miranda

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